Nonimaging optics is a subdiscipline of optics whose development over the last 35-40 years was led by scientists from the University of Chicago and other cooperating individuals and institutions. The approach provides a formalism that allows the design of optical devices that approach the maximum physically attainable geometric concentration for a given set of optical tolerances. This means that it has the potential to revolutionize the design of solar concentrators. In this monograph, the basic practical applications of the techniques of nonimaging optics to solar energy collection and concentration are developed and explained. The formalism for designing a wide variety of concentrator types, such as the compound parabolic concentrator and its many embodiments and variations, is presented. Both advantages and limitations of the approach are reviewed. Practical and economic aspects of concentrator design for both thermal and photovoltaic applications are discussed as well. The whole range of concentrator applications from simple low-concentration nontracking designs to ultrahigh-concentration multistage configurations is covered.
Table of Contents
Practical Design of CPC Thermal Collectors
Practical Design of CPC PV Concentrators
Two-Stage Nonimaging Concentrators for Solar Thermal Applications
Two-Stage Nonimaging Concentrators for Solar PV Applications
Selected Demonstrations of Nonimaging Concentrator Performance
The Importance of Economic Factors in Effective Solar Concentrator Design
About the Author(s)Joseph OGallagher
, Alternative Energy Solutions
Joseph O'Gallagher was born and raised in Chicago, IL. He received his undergraduate education at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he earned a bachelor's degree in physics. He then returned to Chicago, where he received a master's degree and a doctorate degree (both also in physics) from the University of Chicago. He served on the faculty at the University of Maryland in the early 1970s and, for much of the time since then, was a senior scientist and administrator and lecturer at the Physics Department of the University of Chicago. His research work at Chicago was directed toward the development of practical and economical solar thermal and solar photovoltaic concentrators utilizing nonimaging optics. Dr. O'Gallagher has been an active member of the American Solar Energy Society for more than 30 years and recently completed serving 6 years on its Board of Directors. Before beginning work in solar energy, Dr. O'Gallagher spent more than 15 years working in experimental space physics. He and his wife Ellen have been married for 45 years and have two grown sons, four grandsons, and one (very special) granddaughter. Dr. O'Gallagher retired from the University of Chicago in 2005 and since then has been dividing his time among getting to know his grandchildren, consulting, volunteer work, writing this book, and teaching and lecturing. He has published more than 185 articles and technical reports in both experimental and theoretical areas and has lectured frequently on the topics of space science, solar energy, "peak-oil," and global climate change.